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Japan: A Floating World in Print

This exhibition brings you a captivating display of Japanese ‘Ukiyo-e' woodcut prints, literally meaning ‘pictures of the floating world’. Created by masters such as Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro and Kuniyoshi this selection of enchanting images encompass the genres of the beautiful women, dramatic landscapes and Kabuki actors of the Edo (1603-1868) and Meji (1868-1912) periods.

Japan opened up to the wider world following the end of the Edo period in 1868 and interest in the country’s culture, arts and crafts quickly grew in the succeeding decades. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, many wealthy Western collectors amassed important collections of prints and decorative wares, and the bold woodcuts inspired and influenced many European artists.

The outstanding prints in this touring exhibition are predominantly drawn from the collections of Sir Walter Samuel, the son of Lord and Lady Bearsted. Sir Walter assembled his collection while travelling in Japan where the company his father founded, Shell Oil, had business interests. Sir Walter was a lover of the arts and generously donated his collection to Maidstone Museum in 1923 via the National Arts Collection Fund.

This exhibition promises to surprise and delight!

A touring exhibition organised by Maidstone Museum for Maidstone Borough Council

Reproduction prints can be ordered at £15 each.

Admission free, donations welcome.